MADISON, Wisc. - The Western Illinois softball team was swept by Big Ten opponent Wisconsin Tuesday evening (April 10), after the Badgers downed the Leathernecks 12-11 in game one and 7-1 in game two.
After the loss, Western falls to 22-18 overall, while the Badgers improve to 22-12 overall after their seventh and eighth straight victories.
Game #1 - 3 p.m.
Wisconsin 12, Western Illinois 11
The Leathernecks started the hit-filled game one by putting three runs on the board in the top of the second. Megan
Kelly kicked things off with a one-out single, followed by starting pitcher Kelsey Michelini crushing a ball over the left field fence for her first homer of the season, a two-run homerun. Next, a two-out triple from Hailey Bickford sent Briana Williams home after Williams had previously singled, giving the Leathernecks the 3-0 advantage.
It wouldn't take long for Wisconsin to respond as the Badgers would lead off the bottom of the second with a solo homerun for left filed for their first run of the game. A walk, single and hit by pitch would load the bases, but the Leatherneck defense ended the threat with a groundout at home and a Michelini strikeout.
Lia Romeo and Ashley Campbell strung together back-to-back singles in the third, followed by Kelly plating Romeo with a single to left, giving Western a 4-1 advantage. After Michelini reached on an error to load the bases, Williams sent Campbell home with an infield single. Two errant throws allowed another pair of runs to come home giving Western Illinois a 7-1 lead.
The Badgers took out their defensive frustration at the plate in the
bottom of the third inning, scoring three runs on three hits, making it 7-4 in favor of Western.
After a quiet fourth and fifth, Wisconsin recharged its bats in the sixth adding four runs on three hits and an error, giving them an 8-7 edge heading into the final inning.
But the Leathernecks were not done fighting as Campbell singled to open the ninth, and eventually advanced to third after a groundout and wild pitch. Down to the final out of the game, Emma Jarrell came through in the clutch with an RBI single through the left side to tie the contest 8-8. The defense shut down the Badgers in the bottom of the inning forcing extras.In extra innings, Western would capture a three-run lead in the top of the ninth, but the Badgers would make it up in the bottom of the ninth, bringing in four runs on four hits and an error, and capturing the 12-11 victory.
Hailey Bickford (8-8) was tagged with the loss for her 2.2 innings of work, while Wisconsin's third pitcher to appear, Meghan Mcintosh (4-5), picked up the win in the circle for her 1.1 innings pitched.
Five Leatherneck hitters turned in multi-hit performances in the game led by Goss, who went four-for-six, and Williams, who went three-for-four with an RBI. Kelly, Campbell, and Bickford each had two hits, while Michelini and Bickford each had a team high two RBI.
Game #2 - 5 p.m.
Wisconsin 7, Western Illinois 1
Western Illinois was the first to put a run on the board in the nightcap, but it was Wisconsin who closed out the game tallying seven runs in the fifth and sixth innings for the 7-1 victory, completing the doubleheader sweep.
Western's lead would hold until the bottom of the fifth when the Badgers knotted the game with a solo homerun. A hit by pitch, double and a single produced two more run for the Badgers, making it 3-1.
In the bottom of the sixth, Wisconsin added four more runs on three hits to give the game it's final 7-1 score.
The Leathernecks had five hits in the game, two off the bat of Kelsey Michelini who was a perfect two-for-two at the plate with a walk. Romeo was one-for-two with the lone RBI of the game, while Megan Kelly went one-for-three, and Goss was one-for-four.
Michelini suffered the loss, falling to 12-7 in the circle, while Wisconsin's Cassandra Darrah picked up the win bringing her record to 14-6.
The Fighting Leathernecks return to the diamond on Tuesday (April 17) at Illinois and Wednesday (April 18) at Missouri.